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Yemen: the struggle continues

Ahmed Elbassiony

June 17, 2012

After brutal clashes between the Yemeni army and “al-Qaeda” militants in southern provinces in Yemen, Washington commended the US-backed Yemeni government as the troops took control of the city of Shuqra on Friday, June 15.
Yemen has been going through revolutionary changes, just like many other Arab countries. Inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, Yemenis have been protesting, demanding a change since January 2011. Even though the revolution in Yemen is very strategic and important, the media seems to give it the least attention.
It is very strategic because it is the only country in the gulf region that has seen mass demonstrations, massive movements and lots of armed fights between the rebels and the hated government. The success of the revolts in Yemen would help spread the revolution to its close neighbour, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a major US ally and leading counter-revolutionary force in the region, so it is of Saudi Arabia’s benefit (and the US essentially) to try and kill the hope for democracy in Yemen and divert attention.
“Friends of Yemen”
The Saudi and Western-backed “transition plan” removed president Ali Abdullah Saleh from official power but gave him immunity and maintained his regime—installing his vice-president Abd al-Rab Mansour al-Hadi as ruler, while Saleh was welcomed at the Ritz Carlton. Although Yemen is a republic, it is more like a monarchy, very similar to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Saleh’s family remains rooted in all the high level and decision-making machinery of the country.
To further reinforce the dictatorship, the “friends of Yemen” meeting in Riyadh pledged $4 billion to the regime. At the same time, a growing number of special advising forces, from the US mainly, are getting involved in training the Yemeni military—using the excuse of fighting Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (referred to as AQAP). But with all that “effort”, the country has only seen increased anger, rebels and bombings, which give a great indication of “humanitarian intervention.”
The struggle continues
The situation in Yemen is far more serious than some political unrest. According to a recent study conducted by the UN, there are one million children suffering from malnutrition under the age of five. The study also shows that corruption has extended, gulping down funds raised by non-government organizations. Obviously, it is a humanitarian crisis that the imperialists and their allies should be held responsible for, and will only be solved when the Arab Spring overthrows all the Western-backed dictators and their dictatorships across the region.

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